Minnesota baseball extends winning streak to nine games

The team now has a 6-0 conference record.

Redshirt senior catcher and outfielder Matt Stemper prepares for a catch as junior Skyler Wenninger connects with the ball on Tuesday, Mar. 7, 2017 at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Chris Dang, Daily File Photo

Redshirt senior catcher and outfielder Matt Stemper prepares for a catch as junior Skyler Wenninger connects with the ball on Tuesday, Mar. 7, 2017 at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Luke Hanlon

Minnesota continued its perfect start to the conference season this weekend with a sweep of Michigan State in East Lansing.

The Gophers have won nine consecutive games. All nine wins have come on the road.

While on this streak, the Gophers have had to adapt to weather that has changed their schedule in their last three series.

Friday’s game was rained out, forcing the teams to play a doubleheader on Saturday.

“In the Big Ten we’re ready for anything,” said infielder Micah Coffey.

The Gophers’ pitching shined in Saturday’s wins, giving up five runs in the 18 innings.

Continuing a break-out season as a starter, Lucas Gilbreath pitched a gem in Saturday’s first game.

He allowed two runs on three hits and picked up eight strikeouts in six innings. He was credited with the win and improved his record to 3-0 on the season.

All the Gophers runs were scored on one swing of the bat by Coffey — who played his first game in two weeks after suffering an ankle sprain — in the fourth inning.

After getting the second out, Alex Troop walked Cole McDevitt and Jordan Smith to load the bases for Coffey. He hit a bases-clearing double, which would be enough run support for Gilbreath and the bullpen to secure the 3-2 win.

“It’s going to take a little bit to get my timing back, but I saw [the ball] pretty well,” Coffey said.

The Gophers won by one run again in the second game on Saturday, edging out the Spartans 4-3.

Coffey was the hero in the first game, but it was his replacement, Jordan Kozicky, that delivered in the second game.

Kozicky hit a two-run single in the second inning to get the Gophers on the board first.

“I’m just glad I’m playing. I’m stepping up when I need to,” Kozicky said.

The Spartans tied the game at three in the sixth inning to set up a dramatic ninth.

The Gophers got a couple hits in the top half to bring up Luke Pettersen with runners on first and second with one out. Pettersen singled up the middle to score McDevitt and gave the Gophers the lead.

Brian Glowicki pitched a perfect bottom half to get his eleventh save of the season and his second save of the day.

Sunday’s win was less dramatic, as the Gophers cruised to a 9-4 win and a series sweep.

Minnesota is now 6-0 in Big Ten play, the first time since 2003 the team has opened its conference schedule with back-to-back sweeps.

After eleven-straight road games, the Gophers head home to Siebert Field for the first time this season for a midweek tilt against North Dakota State and a weekend series against Rutgers.